SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed is asking the Board of Supervisors to approve a $27 million budget supplemental to fund police overtime citywide. The money would also go toward recruiting more officers and adding more prosecutors as well as extending the city's Ambassador program.
Breed discussed her plan in the Tenderloin District which continues to see open-air drug dealings.
What happens in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood often has repercussions in the rest of the city.
At the heart of the problem is the open-air drug dealing.
"We are short 541 cops, and we are feeling it. Because as I said, it's not just about showing up and the arrest, it's also about the investigation," Breed said.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins says since she took office, the number of cases filed for drug sales has doubled, but it all comes at a cost.
"I shouldn't have to take prosecutors off murder cases. I shouldn't have to take prosecutors off of vicious assaults against our elderly community in order to staff these cases," Jenkins said.
The previous District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, came under fire for failing to prosecute many drug dealers coming from Central America, whom he said were themselves victims of trafficking by drug lords in their countries.
Supervisor Matt Dorsey was heckled by a few protesters on Tuesday, who came to defend San Francisco's sanctuary city policies at all costs.
"I am fighting for the lives of drug addicts and not the livelihood of drug dealers. I make no apologies for it," he said.
Dorsey supports the overtime pay for officers.
Noticeably absent was Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the Tenderloin District.
He did not respond to our request for a statement but just last week said, "It is preposterous that a department that got bonuses, raises and a $50 million budget increase last summer-would come back seven months later for an additional $27.6 million."
The police shortage has been an issue for years now. Police Chief William Scott says his department is operating at 75% of what has been recommended.
"The only way that we temporarily bridge that shortcoming, that gap, is through overtime, and we need the funding -- that's what this supplemental is all about," Scott said.
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